Google-owned YouTube had a chance to beat Twitter’s Periscope and its biggest competitor, Meerkat, to market by somewhere in the ballpark of 8 years, but decided against the move due to the fact that a large portion of the company’s resources were engaged in fending off a Viacom lawsuit and creating the Content ID copyright detection system.
Live streaming, in hindsight, is an idea that was “just there for the taking”. But — only in the dead simple way that Periscope and Meerkat have implemented it. So simple: open the app, press “Record”. That creates a stream that anyone can watch. Mixed with Twitter / social networking, it’s at least a modest gold mine.
Back to the situation Beasley describes: On the face of it, the amount of “extra investment” Google would have needed is unclear. It may be – and I’m speculating – that Periscope and Meerkat pursued the minimum viable product (MVP), while Google may have seen complications / risk in going that route. Even if that’s the case, I can’t blame Google. Pursuing too many side projects is, in my terms “what lack of focus looks like”, and it’s by no means a foregone conclusion that live streaming is a long-term hit. It’s here to stay (I think) for sure, but value / scale is TBD. Of course, that’s also what disruption looks like at the start.